It's Thursday night, and I am sitting here thinking about how far Honey Bandit has come. From that tiny little guy who could not stand up or lift his head for the first three weeks, to the amazing eating machine that he is today. We have been through so much, and sometimes it seemed hard to see anything better in the future. It is amazing how you can just put your mind in limbo when the outcome is too scary. I know probably most everyone out there knows what I am talking about. When the future looks too scary to acknowledge, you just focus on the now, the right now, and nothing else.
When I look back at the pictures, and especially those wonderful videos that Sue made, I am truly amazed at the amount of heart this little guy has. I guess I have been especially lucky to have such fighters in my barn. Starting with Chilly Pepper, (for those of you who don't know her story, go to the website at the bottom of the page), then Honey Bandit and then DaBubbles. I guess God sent them to me to remind me not to give up the fight, and to remind me that you should never give up, no matter how much pain you are in. (If I was a good horse, I would have been put out down a long time ago. !) So I guess I should be grateful for these wonderful creatures and the amazing inspiration they provide.
As most of you know, Honey Bandit still has some neurological issues. Tonight I came home from town, and the boys were inside getting dinner ready. Matt had been outside about 45 minutes earlier and everything was fine. I came into our "barn", (carport) and said hi to the cat. As soon as he heard my voice, Honey Bandit let out a cry for help. He kept calling me in a manner I have never heard from him. He was so stuck. He was actually in a position where it was physically impossible for him to flip over or get up. It is weird though, because I am here night after night when he gets cast, and he always stays quiet. It was so weird for him to be calling me like that. I went into his stall and he lifted his head and looked at me, kind of like, "mom - get me out of here". I called Matt and the boys came out to help. He was in a weird position, and I was afraid that when we flipped him he would be stuck again on the back door. But all is well. We got him "unstuck", helped him over and when he got up, had a good shake, and walked over and started to eat. On a good note though, we have been giving him lots of time to "figure things out on his own". Two out of the last 7 or 8 times, he has managed to "git ER done" and get himself out of his little pickle. So that in itself is a good thing. A little bit of progress at a time will eventually be a lot of progress, as he has show so well. We keep as much straw as we can around the edges of his stall, but can't put too much due to the size of the stall.
I am not sure how I feel about Tuesday's court hearing in San Francisco. I keep thinking about what the judge said about how Congress ordered that if there were excess horses, and I do believe that is to be determined by the appropriate studies and scientific data, that there were specific rules to be followed, and in a specific order. I keep thinking about what Honey Bandit went through, and how the proper procedures were not followed in the slightest.
According to the Judge, Congress ordered that IF, AND ONLY IF, the appropriate steps were taken and there were indeed "excess" horses, the FIRST thing by law that could and should be done is to euthanize the older and ailing horses. That does not mean traumatizing the young and healthy horses with a helicopter. Chances are that Honey Bandit's mom would have still been able to nurse him if she hadn't lost her milk due to the trauma of the round up. If the laws were followed, maybe Honey Bandit would be bouncing around like a normal foal, full of fun and life and energy.
However, I do know that if the people at Litchfield had not given Honey Bandit to me when they did, he wouldn't have survived, and I will be forever and eternally grateful that they did. (Yup, even on those totally sleepless days after days after days) I am hoping that we can work together in the future and prevent this from ever happening again. If we can work together, then there will be no more foals in the condition that Honey Bandit was in. I truly believe that the round ups should stop immediately, and if there must be herd reduction, then wait until guidelines are in place that protect the horses, before, during and after the roundups. We need to protect their family units. But at the very least, if we can find a way to get these injured, sick or weak foals to the appropriate rescues the FIRST day someone sees them, we could save big bucks for all concerned, plus give these babies a much better chance for a good future.
We appreciate all your support and help in keeping Honey Bandit alive and well to tell the story and fulfill his roll of HONEY BANDIT - AMERICA'S POSTER BOY TO STOP THE ROUND UPS!!!
Hugs and God Bless P & the gang
Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang
30027 State Hwy 44 East
Shingletown, CA 96088
530 474 5197